The song is almost 40 years old, but Billy Joel wrote what has now become the mantra for 2016:
I don’t care what you say anymore, this is my life;
Go ahead with your own life, leave me alone.
We are a nation of individuals—with individual rights.
- Don’t you dare tell me what I’m doing is wrong.
- It may be wrong to you, but IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
None of us like people sticking their noses in our business, but how does this play out in the church? I’m talking about how Christians relate to other Christians. If we are both followers of Jesus, just how far can I stick my nose in your business?
The Bible seems to say two different things on the subject:
Hmm. So which is it?
If you are a Christian, you are a part of the body of Christ. We are one in Christ.
“In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Rom. 12:5).
So your business is my business. And vice versa. That flies in the face of the way we have brought American individualism into the church, but we have an obligation to take care of each other and support each other. And sometimes that means we get in each other’s business.
But how far do we take that? The answer is in the Scriptures listed above,
1. Don’t meddle.
If you’re hungry for a little Greek lesson, feast away: the word meddler is a compound of two words.
Alien. You know, like a foreigner, someone who doesn’t live here.
Put those two words together and you’ve got someone trying to be an overseer in a country not his own. That’s the polite Greek word for a person who sticks his nose where it doesn’t belong.
A meddler is not solving a problem; he is creating one. Don’t go there.
Scripture points to two times we should step in.
- When two Christians disagree. We don’t know what Euodia and Syntyche were fussing about in Philippians 4, but it was big enough that it got back to Paul. And he told others to step in.
- When a believer sins. Sin harms. Sin separates. Sin hurts the body of Christ. We have a responsibility to help each other grow in Christ, and that includes dealing with sin and error, which brings us to the three positive steps we can take to help someone.
2. Step in with grace.
Did you notice the word gently in Galatians 6:1? That’s kinda important.
3. Step in with humility.
In Galatians 6:1-2, Paul also stressed watching ourselves, so that we don’t fall. We never help anyone with arrogance or spiritual pride. We know we are sinners under the grace of God.
4. Step in with love.
When we carry each other’s burdens, we fulfill the law of Christ. That’s love. And love seeks to be redemptive. It’s not just about dealing with sin. It’s about seeing the other person grow closer to Christ.
It takes discernment to know when we’re meddling and when we are stepping into a person’s life to love them and encourage them in Christ. But let’s lose the worldly notion that “it’s none of our business.” If Jesus cares what’s happening in the other person’s life, we should too.
We are family,
[Here’s a related post]